It is the beginning of organized sports leagues in North America. In the United States we see the establishment of National League of Professional Base Ball Clubs in 1876, the first Major League established by one of the Big Sports. Baseball was American’s Pastime because everyone was playing and over time it became a a spectator activity. Baseball would blaze the way for the establishment of sports leagues and professionalism.
Canada would grow to love Baseball as well but its first love was a sport of its own invention. Established by a upper-class man to create a new form of recreational exercises for his fellow football/soccer players during the winter, it is thanks to James Creighton who formalized the first rules of Ice Hockey.
After setting up the rules, he then played by them by organizing and playing the first-ever Hockey game in 1875 (148 years ago). Hockey was so innovative that it spread in popularity until Montreal and later Ottawa became hotbeds for players and teams and were the genesis of the first leagues. These leagues in turn became the predecessors to the National Hockey League and the game’s expansion across the world.
Leagues in Operation
Leagues that Folded
League Champions and Other Events
As there was no Hockey Leagues in operation previous to 1883, there are no League Champions, but there was Hockey games being played that are worthy of note. Check out the page on Pre-League Hockey.